February 14th was Valentine's day. On Valentine’s day it is traditional to exchange chocolates. While it is known to be a day of love, its also a day where everyone gets to be soaked with sweetness. A lot of people have a misconception that chocolates are bad for your body and that they are “junk foods”. However, you no longer have to feel guilty when you eat the chocolates in your candy gram. Scientists have proved and revealed that eating chocolate in a reasonable amount is healthy. It has many positive health effects.
First of all, chocolate helps you improve your cognitive abilities. According to a report by Appetite Journal, chocolate consumption is associated with cognitive performances. This means that eating chocolate on a regular basis will lead to better brain activities such as reasoning, memorizing, and gaining knowledge. According to the Forbes magazine, “researchers at Harvard University in the U.S. studied 8,000 men for 65 years and found that those who ate modest amounts of chocolate up to three times a month, lived almost a year longer than those who didn't eat any.” They concluded that this is likely to be due to the fact that cocoa contains antioxidants called Polyphemus, also found in red wine, which prevent cholesterol from harming your body. These antioxidants are also known to protect the body from cancer.
Furthermore, chocolate helps you reduce stress. The substance called valeric acid in the chocolate is known to be a great tranquilizer, and the sugar included in the chocolate relieves stress since it works as equivalent to an opiate in our brain. Also, because a lot of us enjoy the taste of the chocolate, as we become satisfied eating the chocolate, our body release endorphin in the brain. These trick our brain that our body is happy and healthy.
Another health- positive effect of chocolates is that it has a low glycaemic index (GI) which means that it provides our body with long lasting energy but does not raise blood sugar.
Even after hearing these tremendous health effects, some of you might be worried that chocolates might make you fat. However, that is also a long believed rumour; if you eat a reasonable amount of chocolate, it won’t give you any harm. It was found out that the nutrients in chocolates increase lean muscle mass and reduce body weights. Dr. Beatrice Golomb, from the University of California, San diego, said in her research that “Our findings that more frequent chocolate intake is linked to lower BMI are intriguing. If you enjoy chocolate, eating a little may not be harmful and may be beneficial. But just to be sure, add in a little extra exercise with your chocolate. It will help you burn the added calories.”
If you are a big chocolate lover, you should not be worried for chocolate being a bad influence to your body, but just remember to take in a right amount. Eating 20 bars of chocolate will obviously make your health worsen, and your body fat.